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Location: South Yarmouth

Chartered By: William Sewall Gardner

Charter Date: 12/14/1870 1870-188

Precedence Date: 08/16/1869

Current Status: Active


  • Stephen Sears, 1869-1874, 1887, 1888
  • William J. Nickerson, 1875-1877
  • Bernard L. Baker, 1878-1881, 1891, 1892, 1895
  • Seleck H. Matthews, 1882, 1883
  • Elisha T. Baker, 1884-1886, 1896; SN
  • Charles H. Call, 1889, 1890
  • William N. Stetson, 1893, 1894
  • Edwin M. Parker, 1897, 1898
  • William E. Chaffin, 1899-1901
  • Lester E. Crowell, 1902-1905
  • Manton H. Crowell, 1906
  • Walter G. Hallet, 1907, 1908
  • John H. Brice, 1909, 1910
  • George W. Hopkins, 1911
  • Joshua E. Howes, 1912, 1913
  • Freeman C. Bartlett, 1914, 1915; Mem
  • Samuel D. Kelly, 1916, 1917
  • Ray M. Hallett, 1918
  • Gorman Pulsifer 1919, 1920
  • Charles I. Gill, 1921, 1922
  • Walter P. Cook, 1923, 1924
  • Frank L. Baker, 1925, 1926
  • Arthur E. Carlander, 1927
  • Christopher H. Howes, 1928, 1929
  • U. Frederick Stobart, 1930, 1931
  • Milton M. Hallett, 1932, 1933
  • Ira R. Thacher, 1934, 1935
  • Alexander C. Todd, 1936, 1937; N
  • Percy F. Williams, 1938, 1939
  • Winthrop V. Wilbur, 1940, 1941; SN
  • Albert Smith, 1942, 1943
  • Norton A. Nickerson, 1944, 1945
  • Donald D. Grayson, 1946, 1947
  • Joseph B. Daggett, 1948
  • Howard B. Monroe, 1949
  • Arthur R. Pearson, 1950
  • Gilbert D. Macomber, 1951, 1952
  • Joseph G. Curtis, 1953, 1954; N
  • Niilo J. Toolas, 1955, 1956
  • Walton H. Jenkins, 1957, 1958; N
  • J. Arthur Van Buren, 1959
  • Winthrop V. Wilbur, Jr., 1960
  • Carrol E. Baker, 1961, 1962
  • Bernard R. Schofield, 1963, 1987, 1999, 2000
  • William F. Bassett, 1964, 1965
  • Danial M. Campbell, Jr. 1966, 1967
  • Richard D. Grayson, 1968
  • Frederick V. Olson, 1969, 1970
  • Maurice H. Robbins, 1971
  • Matthew J. Ustas, 1972
  • M. Alden James, 1973
  • Gary A. Getchell, 1974, 1986
  • Edward E. Barabe, 1975
  • Kenneth F. Lapier, 1976
  • Steven D. Lapier, 1977
  • Raymond P. Murphy, 1978
  • Andre G. Duprey, 1979
  • Edwin A. Hansen, Jr., 1980, 1982
  • Donald D. Lambert, 1981
  • Bernard Dunn, 1983
  • John H. Trotter, 1984
  • John H. W, Brewer, 1985, 1994, 2004
  • John L. Duncan, 1988, 1991
  • William J. Rogers, Jr., 1989; N
  • Donald G. Frommeyer, 1990
  • Roger T. Gardiner, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2005, 2011
  • Robert A. Stewart, 1993
  • William T. Niemi, 1997
  • David A. Blake, 2001
  • Robert E. White, Jr., 2002
  • Roland E. Lowe, 2006
  • Edward J. Rooney, 2007, 2008
  • David P. Konigsburg, 2009
  • George E French, 2010
  • Keith E. Dumas, 2012


  • Petition for Dispensation: 1869
  • Petition for Charter: 1870


  • 1944 (75th Anniversary)
  • 1969 (Centenary)



1908 1912 1922 1924 1928 1930 1938 1948 1949 1961 1964 1966 1980 1987 1988 1995 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2010 2014


  • 1944 (75th Anniversary History, 1944-191; see below)
  • 1969 (Centenary History, 1969-275; see below)


From Proceedings, Page 1944-191:

By Committee on Lodge History: Worshipful Lester E. Crowell, Chairman; Worshipful Gorham Pulsifer; Brother Arthur R. Pearson

Howard Lodge was organized by Masons living in South Yarmouth, some of them belonging to Mount Horeb Lodge and some to Fraternal Lodge. They held a meeting on June 17,1869, to consider the formation of the new Lodge and chose the name of Howard, for John Howard, an English philanthropist, who lived from 1726 to 1790 and who dedicated his life to the upbuilding of character and bettering the conditions of his fellow-man in all parts of Europe.

The first regular meeting under dispensation was held September 4, 1869, and a Charter was granted on the 14th of December, 1870. The Lodge was publicly consecrated and dedicated by the {Acting} Grand Master, Most Worshipful Joseph K. Baker, on January 3, 1871.

The first meetings were held at what was then known as Music Hall. In 1878 they moved to a hall over Ezra D. Kelley's store, and in 1887, moved to Eureka Hall, which they purchased in 1911. It is the building we are now using.

The Lodge increased its membership to 75 members in 1919 and passed the one hundred mark at a special Howard Lodge Get-to-Gether Meeting. This was the regular communication in May of 1940, at which meeting there were approximately eighty percent of the members present.

The Treasurer's record book in use today is the same one that was purchased seventy-five years ago and is in good condition. Going through it, one finds many interesting entries, such as: Wood for heating $3.00 a cord. Whereas wood was cheaper then, kerosene was more expensive, as an entry in 1870 reads as follows: "3 gallons kerosine $1.08." These records also revealed that Howard Lodge members were always good eaters (they still are). Money was spent for groceries for meetings several times a year. Another interesting entry was, "Horse and carriage to meeting at Hyannis $1.00—Dinner with District Deputy $5.00." There was nothing in the Treasurer's records to indicate that there ever were any occasions when rum or liquor was purchased by the Lodge. There was one entry which looked suspicious and that was in 1874 when some repairs were being done to the Lodge. The entry merely stated, "Lumber and refreshments $5.88."

The seal now being used by the Lodge was purchased in 1871 for $9.75. Curiously enough, the impression was as follows: "Howard Lodge A L 1870." It should, of course, have been A D 1870, and the Lodge has been using this seal for nearly seventy-five years on reports, diplomas, etc., without any comments being made. A L 1870 would make Howard Lodge 4000 years older.

Howard Lodge was in debt from its beginning for money borrowed from its members and also from the bank. This indebtedness was finally paid in full in 1934 and since then Howard Lodge has not needed to borrow even a penny.

The members of Howard Lodge used many ways of raising money. They held a Fair for that purpose in 1896, 1897 and again in 1913, and in each case they realized over $300 net. Beginning in 1915, the lower hall was rented for moving pictures. This continued for several years and furnished a welcome source of income.

Six years ago, with the view of improving the apartments, the members of Howard Lodge organized a Washington Birthday dinner meeting and these meetings on February 22nd of each year since have always been well attended. Through them, and the fine spirit of cooperation prevailing in the Lodge, there has been contributed over a period of six years a total of $3200, plus many dollars worth of material and many, many hours of labor. This spirit of cooperation, in which all members participated, has resulted in a new ceiling and ceiling beams in the lower hall, new carpet, painting inside and outside, new addition, which includes the kitchen and Cap'n's room, new lighting, new clock and many more items. The War has hindered this work, but the spirit which started it and kept it going is still there. When the War is over, these Washington Birthday meetings will start again.

Worshipful Brother John H. Brice, when he was Master in 1909, started the "Past Masters Nights" and since that time Howard Lodge has had a Past Masters' night each year. These meetings, with Past Masters filling the stations and doing the degree work, have always been well attended and most interesting.

Howard Lodge has had five Treasurers in seventy-five years. Brother George H. Loring, serving thirty-two years, 1877-1909, was succeeded by Brother M. H. Crowell, who served nineteen years, 1909-1928, and he was followed by Brother Freeman C. Bartlett, who served thirteen years. The Lodge also had Secretaries who served for long periods. Brother Zenas P. Howes served thirty-three years, and Brother Lester E. Crowell served twenty-four years, 1907-1931.

Howard Lodge received $2500 from sale of property left to the Lodge by the heirs of Brother Herbert F. Crosby. Of this $2500, $1250 was invested in Government Bonds and the balance used to pay the inheritance tax, pay off the mortgage and make needed repairs. The Lodge also received $100 from Brother Edson P. Howes, the interest from this fund to be used for framing Past Master's diplomas, etc. Money was also left to the Lodge by Captain and Brother William E. Collins, to be used by the Building Fund Committee and the adjoining room has been named "The Cap'n's Room" in remembrance of him. These funds at present have a value of $2653.38.

This year of 1944, in which we are celebrating the seventy-fifth anniversary of Howard Lodge, has been a trying year. With the World War II being prosecuted vigorously toward complete victory, with scrap drives, blood banks, rationing, victory gardens, and in addition to these, the devastating hurricane of September 14, 1944 — in all these Howard Lodge members are serving and will continue to serve. The Virtues taught by Masonry are a continual help in these trying times.


From Proceedings, Page 1969-275:

By Brother Andrew H. Miller.

On June 17, 1869 a group of Masons living in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts, held a meeting to consider the formation of a new Lodge. The Brethren were members of Mount Horeb Lodge, West Harwich, and Fraternal Lodge, Hyannis, but felt the need of a Lodge "at home." The two Lodges are respected and esteemed as the parents of this Lodge.

The selection of the name "Howard" was made after much mature deliberation.


John Howard (1726-1790) was a great name in England and throughout the world, standing for benevolence, friendship, morality and brotherly love. A monument erected to his memory stands in St. Paul's Cathedral in London. During his life he was dedicated to the upbuilding of character and bettering the conditions of his fellow man in all parts of Europe, always remembering the forgotten, attending the neglected, visiting the forsaken, never hesitating to go 'on foot or out of his way to assist, serve and encourage a fallen man.

In the words of Wor. Samuel D. Kelley, who compiled the History for the 50th Anniversary — "Beneficence pure in its intentions, wise and comprehensive in its plans, and active and successful in execution, must ever stand at the head of those qualities which elevate the human character; and by cultivating that benevolence by which John Howard was actuated, a spirit of emulation may be excited to imitate his virtues in our different spheres of life."

The first regular meeting of Howard Lodge, under Dispensation, was held on September 4, 1869 in a hall leased from one R. D. Farris and known as "Music Hall", located on Route 28, West of North Main Street, on the site now occupied by The Riverway Lobster House. Wor. Stephen Sears was the first Master of the Lodge, and according to the Records, Bro. Bernard L. Baker had the honor of being the first to be raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason in Howard Lodge.

The Charter was granted on December 14, 1870 by M. W. William Sewell Gardner, Grand Master, and received from R. W. Joseph K. Baker, District Deputy Grand Master at dedication and consecration ceremonies on January 13, 1871.

In 1878 the Lodge moved to a Hall over Ezra D. Kelley's Store on the East side of North Main Street, about 75 feet North of Route 28, and in 1887 moved to "Eureka Hall", later known as "Standish Opera House" on Old Main Street, which they purchased in 1911.

An interesting sidelight is the fact that Wor. Walter B. Chase was Marshal at the Installation of Officers on January 2, 1907 and R. W. Walter B. Chase, District Deputy Grand Master, made an Official Visitation on October 9, 1920. The name of Walter B. Chase, who resides in Hyannis, is respected as the "Dean" of Masons in this area.

Going through the Records of the Lodge is quite an education in itself. The fluctuations of prices alone, for the various items needed for repairs and supplies for the Lodge Rooms and Buildings; wood — $3 a cord and "kerosine" — 3 gallons for $1.08 for heating and lighting; horse and carriage to meeting at Hyannis — $1.00, Dinner with District Deputy—$5.00; and though nothing has ever indicated that rum or liquor was ever purchased (or even in evidence) there are some who believe that occasionally entries for expenditures might be disguised — In 1874 an entry in the Treasurer's Book — "Lumber and Refreshments — $5.88." Most believe the entries to be "straightforward."

The seal now being used by the Lodge was purchased in
1871 for $9.75. Curiously enough the impression it makes
reads "Howard Lodge A.L. 1870" and though in use almost
100 years comment is seldom made. (After all, what are 4,000
years, more or less). .... . The Lodge was in debt from its beginning for money borrowed from its Members or the bank (at times, long ago, it paid as much as 7% interest on the money). The indebtednesses were paid in full in 1934 and since then has been debt free.

In 1909 the Worshipful Master, John H. Brice, instituted the first Past Masters' Night with the Past Masters filling the stations and doing the work on a Candidate. Sixty years later this tradition is still being followed. This night is always well attended and most interesting.

The tenure of office of the Treasurers of the Lodge has almost invariably been quite long: Bro. George H. Loring, 32 years; Bro. M. H. Crowell, 19 years; Bro. Freeman Bartlett, 13 years; R.W. Winthrop V. Wilbur, Sr., 25 years, so far. Secretaries have also served for long periods of time: Bro. Zenas P. Howes, 33 years; Bro. Lester E. Crowell, 24 years; Bro. Harry M. Robinson, 16 years. Surely this must be a contributing factor to the stability of the Lodge.

Numerically the Lodge has steadily increased: In 1940 — 100 Members; 1955 — 200 Members; 1959 — 300 Members; 1964 — 400 Members. At present the Roll Call establishes about 440 Members.

We are proud and happy to be one of the sponsoring Lodges of the Cape Cod Chapter, Order of DeMolay, which held its first meeting in our Lodge Room on February 10th, 1940. Through the years various members of the Lodge have offered advice, guidance and assistance, not only to the local DeMolay Chapter, but further afield throughout our jurisdiction.

In the early 1950s it became evident that larger quarters would be needed for the Lodge and a committee was formed and authorized to study ways and means of acquiring suitable accommodations, resulting in the purchase of about 1 1/6 acres of land from the Charles Davis Estate and Bro. Hervey L. Small; the old hall was sold in 1958; a ground breaking ceremony was held on October 31, 1959 for the present Temple; on April 30, 1960 a Cornerstone Ceremony was held with Most Worshipful Laurence E. Eaton spreading the cement. (1960 Mass. 81-83)

Some of the interesting items contained in the box in the corner-stone are: Six photographic slides showing all of the locations where Howard Lodge has met; a copy of the April, 1960 Lodge Notice and photograph of the Officers; 2 brochures — "The Why of a New Temple" and "Corner Stone Ceremony"; copy of the By-Laws of the Lodge; information about Matakese Chapter #158, Order of the Eastern Star; quotation from the Bible — John 15:12; Town of Yarmouth facts; a copy of the Standard-Times and Dennis-Yarmouth Register for that date.

Then came the real labor. The amazing story of groups of men using their talents and time in all areas of that labor; clearing of brush, removing trees, bulldozing and rough grading, painting and decorating, carpentry, plumbing, heating, electrical wiring, tile setting, woodworking and finishing, road building and landscaping, laboring, and last, but not least, contributors of financial aid. Devoted men building a Masonic Temple — dedicated to God, and the great spirit of Masonry of brotherly love and affection.

The finished Temple, of which we are all so very proud, was dedicated on Saturday, May 25th, 1963 by Most Worshipful A. Neill Osgood with accompanying appropriate ceremony. (1963 Mass. 124-125)

A contributing factor, certainly, to the continued success through the years, is the excellent cooperation and camaraderie enjoyed with the Officers and Members of Matakese Chapter #158, Order of the Eastern Star which meets in our Temple. The fine kitchen which they have furnished and sums of money they have contributed toward our projects (the organ and dining room furniture, etc.) bear mute testimony to to this cooperation.

Howard Lodge has been signally honored to have two members who have been awarded the "Distinguished Service Medal" (Joseph Warren Medal) conferred by order of the Grand Master upon Brethren "as may have rendered distinguished service to the Lodges of which they are Members." The two are Right Worshipful Alexander C. Todd (1945) and Brother Harry M. Robinson (1967).

This condensed History of Howard Lodge was compiled from: The Records of the Lodge; The 50th Anniversary by Wor. Samuel D. Kelley; The 75th Anniversary by Wor. Lester E. Crowell, Wor. Gorham Pulsifer and Bro. (now) Wor. Arthur R. Pearson (1944 Mass. 189-193); The Program from the Dedication of this Temple; and much assistance from Bro. Harry M. Robinson. To them be all the thanks.


  • 1871 (Constitution of Lodge by DDGM, 1871-209)
  • 1896 (Jurisdictional dispute, 1896-379)
  • 1901 (Jurisdictional dispute, 1901-39)




1869: District 15 (Barnstable)

1883: District 28 (Barnstable)

1898: District 28 (Provincetown)

1911: District 32 (Provincetown)

1927: District 32 (Hyannis)

2003: District 20


Massachusetts Lodges